I am very casually in the market for a general purpose zoom. By this I mean something with good, if not great IQ, that is reasonably wide (30mm or less) but that also reaches out a decent amount (150mm or more). I want it just so I will have something to carry around when I only want to carry one lens. However, I don't want something of mediocre image quality, and I don't want to spend $2k+ either.
Research into my options has revealed something to me. There are almost no lenses in the 5x-9x zoom range, and none that are FF capable. This is unfortunate as that is the range most likely to meet my needs, where a lens could have a large general purpose zoom range while not giving up massive amounts of image quality. I don't know why all the manufacturers leave this massive gap in their offerings, but I think it sucks.
If we break down zooms into four ranges then look at the zooms currently listed on BH this is the result:
Short Zoom Range (~1.5x-3x) = 32
Medium Zoom Range (~3x-5x) = 24
Very Long Zoom Range (~9x+) = 11
Based on the other groupings logic would dictate that there should be about 16 Long Zooms available. How many are there?
Long Zoom Range (~5x-9x) = 3
Yup, only 3, and all of those APS-C only.
So why is this huge zoom range basically empty? I can think of half a dozen nice zooms that could fall in here nicely and could potentially be very good lenses if done right. Is there just no interest? Is there a technical challenge that > 10x and < 5x can avoid? It just doesn't make sense to me why this area is skipped.
The main lens I would be interested in would fall somewhere in here:
24 to 30mm - 150 to 225mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.
For instance, if a 28-200 was released with IQ a bit better than the 18-135 (29-216 equivalent), and for at most a couple hundred more than the 18-135, I don't see how it could fail to sell well. Give it L level treatment and quality and sell it for twice the 18-135 price and the only downside would be all the 28-300 sales it would cannibalize.